Startup interview

Simon Štrancar
/22.5.2014, Author: Nataša Rus
Co-founder and CEO of company G-1, winner of the competition Start:up of the year 2009.
1. Would you say that your company is a successful company? Did the crisis affect your plans?
The whole team lives for the company, we’re constantly trying to make our products better technology-wise as well as competitive from the aspect of the final user. I think that consequently, we are becoming an increasingly more successful company. We’re definitely not reaching our optimistic plans, but we’re exceeding the pessimistic version of our business plan, which is good considering the market conditions.
The previous year strongly affected especially the delivery of some materials – they took a longer time to be delivered or even remained unattainable. As such, we were unable to complete all our orders. We took action by developing new electronics, where we mostly took the availability of all necessary materials into account. This helped us achieve lower manufacturing costs. This year in March, we will present a new product at the international fair in Istanbul.

2. How many people are currently employed in your company?
Our team consists of eleven people who actively work and are fully or contractually employed.

3. What has been your biggest business success so far?
Our biggest success is that during the times of the economic crisis, we built a manufacturing company that survives from selling its own products and is actually growing. In the previous year, we’ve reached more than a 120 % growth of income, mostly due to growth in sales abroad.

4. How do you see the development of your company and products in the future?
We’re currently putting a lot of effort into the industrialization of the new product and capital increase of the company. We’re in the phase of negotiations with different investors. Increasing the value of the working capital and investing into equipment will accelerate the breakthrough to markets abroad and ensure a high growth jump in turnover. We think that the company will remain in the phase of fast growth.
Firstly, we will keep introducing new and innovative products to the market, which will allow us to control an even bigger market share. We’re currently testing a diesel system as well as developing other components and new technologies for using alternative fuels.

5. Currently, there is a lot of talk about the problem of CO2 emissions. Your system reduces the emission of CO2 into the atmosphere for 15%. What about other harmful emissions, are they really less important?
Studies showed that by converting a modern vehicle to auto gas, the greenhouse effect is decreased, as are other harmful emissions. With the combustion of LPG, the emissions of harmful substances are up to 50% lower compared to the classical engine on gasoline, which also makes them fall under the line of the strictest regulations of EU on exhaust gases. Personally I hope that in the future, we will talk more about the harmfulness of ‘pm parts’ and other poisonous exhaust gases. Of course the CO2 emissions are important as well, but real problems are sadly pushed into the background. If the public knew more about the toxicity of diesel vehicles, they would be horrified. The technology of auto gas is currently the only one realistically enabling the decrease of all harmful emissions, including CO2. It’s good because we can start using it right away, while simultaneously developing other technologies we will use next.
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Member: Venture Factory, Business incubator of University of Maribor
Venture Factory, member of RAZ:UM, is an important element in the system of business support in the north eastern Slovenia focused on supporting innovative ideas of professors, young researchers and students from University of Maribor with the aim to develop succesful spin-off businesses. More...

Author of content: Nataša Rus,
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